Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active healthy life. Food security at a minimum includes the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, and an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, that is, without having to resort to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies. The World Food Summit, convened in Rome in November 1996 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimated that 800 million people worldwide do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs. Representatives of the more than 180 nations attending the Summit pledged to work to reduce this number by half by no later than 2015. Causes of food insecurity may include poverty, civil conflict, governmental corruption, environmental degradation, and natural disasters. A U.S. position paper on international (world) food security, released in October 1997, argues that food security also requires "...social and economic conditions which empower individuals to gain access to food, either by producing food themselves or earning income to buy food."
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